Posts tagged Hello
Average position is the most misleading and least helpful metric in AdWords. Clients and stakeholders must understand ROI, not position, is the most important PPC metric. Here’s why you should wean yourself and your clients off average position.
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Evernote’s Hello app for iPhone and Android devices helps you remember people you meet. But here’s the rub: Each platform offers different features. In fact, the Android version, released today, leapfrogs the older iPhone app with a bunch of cool goodies. Why not give the iPhone the same love? Evernote CEO Phil Libin explains his multiplatform strategy.
The Address Book Is Broken
Evernote launched Hello for iPhone in December as a standalone app that syncs with Evernote proper. It seeks to solve a simple problem: We’re not good at remembering people, and the alphabetical address book doesn’t help.
“Everything we build at Evernote, we build for ourselves,” Libin says. “We build things that we want to use.” Libin wanted a better tool for remembering people he met by chance. “I’m just terrible at remembering people. It always gives me a lot of stress, and I worry about it.”
He’s surely not alone there. Except for those people who have the magical gift for names, this is a hard and embarrassing problem with the human brain. We’ve got technological aides, but Evernote doesn’t think the old ones do the trick.
“The old metaphor for remembering people was an address book,” Libin says. “That’s flawed because it’s alphabetical. Your brain doesn’t naturally remember people in alphabetical order by name. You remember people based on kind of what they look like, plus the context: where you met them, what else happened, who else was there.”
So Evernote Hello is designed around the actual encounter. You snap a photo, type in a bare minimum amount of info, and it creates a note in Evernote for that person. In Evernote proper, you can see all the related notes, which means that if you meet a bunch of people at the same time, they’ll all be connected in your outboard brain. In Hello itself, it displays the images as a rich mosaic of all the people you’ve met, which helps you get familiar with them.
Android Versus iOS
The basic experience of Evernote Hello is the same, but today’s new Android version brings in a bunch of new features that iPhone users don’t yet have. It looks at your calendar, call and SMS history and suggests encounters from there. So you don’t have to hand your phone to someone or even meet them in person. (If there’s someone you meet with regularly, you can filter them out in the app.)
It also connects with LinkedIn, which can make saving encounters even faster in professional situations. You can just type in the person’s email address, and Hello will pull their information from LinkedIn. It will even grab their photo, but Evernote recommends you take a pic anyway, so you can remember the face from the moment you actually met.
“It’s a pretty different experience” from the iPhone version, Libin says. So why didn’t these features come out in the iPhone version at the same time? It’s deliberate. Evernote has two different teams building each version of the app, playing to the strengths of the two platforms, and learning from each other’s performance.
“It’s two independent teams that are really trying to talk to each other while learning from [each other's] best designs,” Libin says. “It’s a cooperative and friendly kind of competition. This way, [our teams] aren’t doing lowest-common-denominator stuff. They’re actually building full, native apps that learn from each other.”
Due to the differences between iOS and Android, the two versions are bound to be slightly different. iOS doesn’t currently offer a way for Hello to hook into the phone’s call and message history like Android does. “In terms of the actual features, I think it will be like the platforms themselves,” says Libin. “Android has more stuff. There’s more hooks that make it more powerful for people. iPhone is more beautiful; it has better animation and a smoother experience.”
By iterating one at a time on different platforms, Evernote gets to see which kinds of features work and which don’t for two different user bases. Each team can adapt the other’s findings. But it also lets them play to the strengths of each platform, rather than compromising. As a result, Evernote makes its whole app better, but it also serves its users in a smarter way.
After all, these differences in platform are not just for developers to think about. As Libin points out, “That’s how people decide which phones to get, too.”
Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock
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Goodbye SEO, hello ASO: The time for app store optimization is now
SEO is a term most of us know all too well. Search engine optimization has become a sort of game we Web publishers play with the Internet (or rather, Google) to keep from being buried by the mountains and mountains of data constantly being churned out.
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Google’s Knowledge Graph has claimed its first “victim,” if you will: The content box that showed “People and Pages On Google+” is gone. In its place? A variety of Knowledge Graph-related content that will show up differently depending on the search query. In making…
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China’s Great Wall and the Great Firewall seem to be one in the same. Until just a few days ago, when Chinese citizens rode a glitch and jumped onto the momentarily unencumbered information super highway, according to reports from CNET. It all began on Google+. Over the weekend, Chinese Internet users headed straight to President Obama’s Google+ page.
“Chinese people have flooded this page for days. Just google it and u will know what actually happened. By the way, most of us only speak Mandarin,” Chinese Google+ user +Xusheng Zhou said to +Patricia Errazuriz. Chinese users left a wide variety of comments, ranging from jokes to pleas about the state of civil rights issues in China. Others just competed for the top commenting slot.
Users were able to access Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Google+, some for the first time.
“I can suddenly access YouTube! No need to breach the firewall!” posted excited Weibo user Arvin Xie.
Google went back into China this past January after two years of censorship from the Chinese government. Like most Internet companies, Google couldn’t ignore the huge opportunity of China’s more than 500 million Internet users, which is twice as many as the U.S. This is a market that Facebook would love to tap.
Reuters reports that on Wednesday access to Facebook, YouTube and Twitter was once again blocked. As of today, Thursday, additional comments are still showing up on the Obama Google+ page. For some reason, Chinese authorities haven’t patched that hole.
Barack Obama is using his Google+ page as yet another place to “connect” with the American people, supposedly. He gave the “most interactive State of the Union address ever” in January. Obama even Google+ Hungout with the public, including five golden ticket-winning Americans. “But for the public,” writes ReadWriteWeb’s Jon Mitchell, “it was no more of a paradigm shift than changing the TV channel.”
Perhaps it’s time Obama hungout with a few Chinese Internet users.
“哇，总统先生早安～” writes Chinese Google+ user Dongboy Lee. Or, according to Google Translate, “Wow, Mr. President, good morning ~”
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Evernote Hello is a fine example of a really good idea that, when executed, doesn’t work at all well. In concept, Hello is brilliant. Who doesn’t have a problem with remembering names, especially when you’re at a party or work function and being introduced to a half-dozen people simultaneously?
As I said, it’s a really good idea, and the execution is almost perfect. However, Hello doesn’t seem to have seen much real-world testing. While this seems like a perfect app for folks working in IT and meeting lots of people for business, it has a lot of problems that need to be sorted out first.
First Impressions of Hello
Let’s start with the good. Evernote Hello is easy to set up and use. Assuming you already have an Evernote account, it should take less than two minutes to download the iOS app and get it set up. The UI is pleasing, and the idea of “encounters” is interesting. I like the idea of being able to browse through faces and find someone’s name.
Once you have someone’s contact information, it’s relatively easy to put them into the iOS contacts. Unfortunately, this appears to be a one-way street. If you update the contact information in iOS contacts, it doesn’t sync into the Evernote Hello database.
Worse, Evernote seems to have forgotten that you may have met people before the company was kind enough to grace us with Hello. There’s no feature to import existing contacts into Hello. Ugh.
Hello has a few other problems that are more minor, and will likely be sorted out before too long. First and foremost, the Evernote desktop client can’t edit Hello notes. After I’d created a sample contact with Hello, I checked it out in the Mac OS X desktop client and the Web client. At least for now, you can only edit contact info via the iOS app.
There’s also the small matter of Evernote Hello only working on iOS for now. I’m pretty sure that they’ll port this to other platforms, but it’s fairly limiting having it only on iOS.
Then there’s the whole “hand over your phone to a stranger” thing. You may be comfortable with this, but plenty of folks are not. Luckily it’s not entirely necessary, you can use Hello with the back-facing camera but then there’s little difference between using Hello to enter contact information and using the built-in contact app.
For a first release, though, the Evernote folks have made a pretty nice little app. Except for the fatal flaw.
Here’s the big problem with Hello: It’s completely awkward for any social encounter where you’re meeting two or more new people at the same time.
In a one-on-one situation, where both people are using Hello, I suppose that the “let’s pause while we tap on each other’s phones and take photos” situation would be OK. I could see sitting down with someone before an interview and gathering contact information.
Except, it’s pretty rare that I meet just one person in a controlled situation like that. And pre-arranged meetings are the ones where I rarely have problems remembering the other party’s name.
The problem that Hello purports to solve is one of forgetting people’s names. This happens to me when I meet people at trade shows and parties, and it’s usually in a group or a stream of people. You know the situation – you walk into a room and get introduced to 12 people who all know each other, and the names are one big blur. “Hey, let me introduce you to AbbyBillMartinBillPamDavidSethandBill.”
Trying to capture three, four or ten new people into Hello in the situations where you really need it will bring any social or work encounter to a screeching halt.
Hello strikes me as a slightly less geeky (and much less security conscious) version of a key signing party. If you’ve never been to one, a key signing party is an opportunity for folks to get together and verify identities before “signing” each other’s GPG keys. This helps create a “web of trust.” You may not have met me, for example, but if three people you do know have signed my GPG key – then you have a higher confidence that I’m who I say I am and my key is valid.
It probably sounds like a great idea to the Sheldon Coopers of the world. But for non-technophiles, a new exchanging-of-the-iPhones ritual isn’t going to win friends and influence people. On the plus side, I suppose, people will have no problem remembering your name if you’re the one who busts out a phone to take their picture.
Any app that is going to “solve” the problem that Hello tries to solve needs to be as easy as exchanging a business card. Passing around smartphones and entering data is a step backwards, not forwards.
How Hello Could be Saved
iPhones and Android devices are an excellent example of how progress sometimes takes a step backwards. For all the power and glory of iOS and Android, they neglect one simple function that the Palm devices got right in the 90s. With a Palm PDA, you could walk up to someone at an event, and “beam” your contact info to them and vice-versa. In a matter of seconds, you’d have their details saved for posterity. For all the advantages of iPhones and Android phones over Palm PDAs, they neglected this simple (yet vital) feature.
If Evernote Hello allowed users to do the same thing with a pre-made business card, then beam via Bluetooth, Hello would be a rousing success. It wouldn’t be the first, but Evernote could do pretty well here.
Where (I Hope) Evernote is Going with This
My guess, or perhaps my hope, is that Evernote is using Hello as a prelude to adding contact management features into Evernote.
Evernote is a great general purpose tool for storing away information. It can be pressed into service as a tool for contact management, but it’s not designed for that. I’d love it if Evernote would extend the desktop, Web and mobile clients to better handle contact management.
Hello is a good first step in that direction, but Evernote needs to make Hello as easy to use as exchanging business cards or beaming contact information. As implemented, Hello is an app that most people aren’t going to use.
(Credit where credit is due, the headline was inspired by my friend Jason Perlow.)
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Evernote has come announced two new apps to help you remember what you eat and the names of the people you are eating with, Dubbed Evernote Food and Evernote Hello, the two new apps were released at LeWeb in Paris Wednesday morning. While neither of these new apps are incredibly original, both go to show that Evernote wants to become the destination for all the notes you ever want to take in your life, from a memorable meal to an interesting person. We explore Evernote and Hello below.
Evernote Food is a way to take pictures of your friends and family at meals, record recipes and track what you eat. It is a branch off the Evernote tree but syncs to the your personal cloud folder in the company’s main app, like everything else that Evernote does. There is actually not a lot to the app outside of the ability to take pictures and annotate them.
You can geo-tag your food events, describe the scenario, take pictures, add caloric information with the food tracker and share through Facebook and Twitter. Basically, if you like to scrapbook your life and especially your adventures through the culinary world, that is what Evernote Food is designed for.
Evernote Hello is a way to remember people’s names. It is a lot like an app that came out last month called Namerick, so similar to the point where we wonder if Evernote borrowed the idea or just hired the developer. Hello bases remembering people’s names on three key principles: faces, time and context. So, what the person looks like, where and when you met them and what you were doing at the time.
When you meet someone new, you have have them using the forward-facing camera on the iPhone to take a picture of themselves (or take it yourself). The app will take four photos for a mosaic of that persons face. It will then create an “encounter” which contains the person’s face and where you met them and any other notes you add at the time.
There are other services available that have the functionality of both Food and Hello. Facebook, especially with the the Timeline rollout set to come, is probably the first to pop to mind. Like Evernote, Facebook wants to be the place where you record your life and share it with your friends. Evernote’s two new apps are perfect for people that like to document to their personal cloud through Evernote and do not like the idea of being attached to Facebook’s social graph. If you are a heavy Evernote user, you will probably end up using Hello and Food. If not, there is probably no reason to do so.
Are you going to use Evernote Food and Hello? Do you like the idea of digitally scrap booking your life? Let us know in the comments.
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Yahoo is rebranding Associated Content – the open article creation and distribution site – as Yahoo Voices. The transition to a new name also updates the design, standards for publication, and the content base.
Yahoo Voice is “hom…
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